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Old 01-31-2009, 08:42 AM   #1
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Default Chemist sheds light on health benefits of garlic

Researchers have widely believed that the organic compound, allicin - which gives garlic its aroma and flavour - acts as the world's most powerful antioxidant. But until now it hasn't been clear how allicin works, or how it stacks up compared to more common antioxidants such as Vitamin E and coenzyme Q10, which stop the damaging effects of radicals.

"We didn't understand how garlic could contain such an efficient antioxidant, since it didn't have a substantial amount of the types of compounds usually responsible for high antioxidant activity in plants, such as the flavanoids found in green tea or grapes," says Chemistry professor Derek Pratt, who led the study. "If allicin was indeed responsible for this activity in garlic, we wanted to find out how it worked."

The research team questioned the ability of allicin to trap damaging radicals so effectively, and considered the possibility that a decomposition product of allicin may instead be responsible. Through experiments with synthetically-produced allicin, they found that an acid produced when the compound decomposes rapidly reacts with radicals.

Their findings are published in the January 2009 issue of the international chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie.

"Basically the allicin compound has to decompose in order to generate a potent antioxidant," explains Dr. Pratt, who is Canada Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry. "The reaction between the sulfenic acid and radicals is as fast as it can get, limited only by the time it takes for the two molecules to come into contact. No one has ever seen compounds, natural or synthetic, react this quickly as antioxidants."

The researcher is confident that a link exists between the reactivity of the sulfenic acid and the medicinal benefits of garlic. "While garlic has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries and there are many garlic supplements on the market, until now there has been no convincing explanation as to why garlic is beneficial," says Dr. Pratt. "I think we have taken the first step in uncovering a fundamental chemical mechanism which may explain garlic's medicinal benefits."

Along with onions, leeks and shallots, garlic is a species in the family Alliaceae. All of these other plants contain a compound that is very similar to allicin, but they do not have the same medicinal properties. Dr. Pratt and his colleagues believe that this is due to a slower rate of decomposition of the allicin analogs in the onions, leaks and shallots, which leads to a lower level of sulfenic acid available to react as antioxidants with radicals.

Source: Queen's University


http://www.physorg.com/news152541095.html
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Interesting Mousehound. Thank you!
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:51 PM   #3
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfenic_acid
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:52 PM   #4
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http://www.pnas.org/content/101/52/17982.abstract

Widespread sulfenic acid formation in tissues in response to hydrogen peroxide
Adrian T. Saurin*, Hendrik Neubert†, Jonathan P. Brennan*, and Philip Eaton*,‡
+Author Affiliations

*Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Division, The Rayne Institute, St. Thomas' Hospital, King's College London, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom; and †Drug Control Centre/Mass Spectrometry Facility, King's College London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NN, United Kingdom
Edited by Irwin Fridovich, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, and approved November 5, 2004 (received for review July 5, 2004)

Abstract
A principal product of the reaction between a protein cysteinyl thiol and hydrogen peroxide is a protein sulfenic acid. Because protein sulfenic acid formation is reversible, it provides a mechanism whereby changes in cellular hydrogen peroxide concentration may directly control protein function. We have developed methods for the detection and purification of proteins oxidized in this way. The methodology is based on the arsenite-specific reduction of protein sulfenic acid under denaturing conditions and their subsequent labeling with biotin–maleimide. Arsenite-dependent signal generation was fully blocked by pretreatment with dimedone, consistent with its reactivity with sulfenic acids to form a covalent adduct that is nonreducible by thiols. The biotin tag facilitates the detection of protein sulfenic acids on Western blots probed with streptavidin–horseradish peroxidase and also their purification by streptavidin–agarose. We have characterized protein sulfenic acid formation in isolated hearts subjected to hydrogen peroxide treatment. We have also purified and identified a number of the proteins that are oxidized in this way by using a proteomic approach. Using Western immunoblotting we demonstrated that a highly significant proportion of some individual proteins (68% of total in one case) form the sulfenic derivative. We conclude that protein sulfenic acids are widespread physiologically relevant posttranslational oxidative modifications that can be detected at basal levels in healthy tissue, and are elevated in response to hydrogen peroxide. These approaches may find widespread utility in the study of oxidative stress, particularly because hydrogen peroxide is used extensively in models of disease or redox signaling.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:59 PM   #5
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you never know what may come up when you research LOL:

http://www.randomfactsuselesstrivia....t-facts-2.html

Fact: Chopping Onions
When you slice an onion, you break open a number of onion cells. Certain enzymes from the cells then decompose the amino acid sulfoxide, which forms sulfenic acid, which then quickly changes into a volatile gas. When this gas combines with the water in your eyes it produces a mild sulfuric acid. The acid irritates the eyes making them tear.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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All of this makes me want to break out my Kimchi recipes
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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Just a caution to never give anything that contains garlic or onions to your cat. It causes heinz body anemia.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:14 PM   #8
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Interesting Brooks!

http://www.peteducation.com/article....+1935&aid=2414

Onion and Garlic Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith




Toxin
S-methylcysteine sulfoxide, n-propyl disulfide, methyl disulfide, allyl disulfide

Source
Onion or garlic (Allium spp.) including those that are fresh as well as those dried for use as spices.

General Information
Garlic and onion are used as flavor enhancers in food. Some human baby foods have onion in them, and it is not recommended to feed them to pets. In dogs and cats, garlic and onion can cause Heinz body anemia, resulting in a breakdown of the red blood cells and anemia. The very small amounts of garlic that are present in some commercial pet foods have not been shown to cause any problems.

The bulbs, bulbets, flowers, and stems of the garlic and onion are all poisonous.

Toxic Dose
Unknown. Cats appear to be more sensitive than dogs.

Signs
Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, discolored urine, weakness, liver damage, allergic reactions, asthmatic attacks, and in case of skin exposure, contact dermatitis.

Immediate Action
Induce vomiting and seek veterinary attention. If dermal (skin) exposure, bathe thoroughly and contact a veterinarian.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: The induction of vomiting may be continued, gastric lavage is performed, and activated charcoal administered, if ingested. If dermal exposure has occurred, the animal will be bathed and dried thoroughly.

Supportive treatment: IV fluids are administered to maintain hydration. The animal will be monitored and treated for liver damage. Repeated blood tests will be performed to monitor for anemia; blood transfusions will be administered if necessary.

Specific treatment: Unavailable.

Prognosis
Variable.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:28 AM   #9
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My German Shepard loved garlic. We found out when I bought some of that spray stuff to keep animals out of a garden. It has garlic in it. He ate the grass I sprayed the stuff on and then started begging for food from DH who put garlic and hot sauce on everything. Dog ate it, never got sick from it.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:41 PM   #10
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I feed my neighbors dog scraps, since I no longer have pets, and I'm not into leftovers.

I'm very careful to feed him only that which the neighbor approves.

Onions are a big no no.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:28 AM   #11
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A friend's Doberman used to love onions. He didn't enjoy the aftermath..,

Niether did we.
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